20-Year-Old Sydney Man Who Tried to Scam Optus Customers Avoids Jail

20-Year-Old Sydney Man Who Tried to Scam Optus Customers Avoids Jail

Back in November, a 20-year-old man from Sydney pleaded guilty to two counts of using a telecommunications network with intent to commit a serious offence. This was after he tried to SMS scam people whose details were exposed in the Optus data breach.

This followed his arrest in October. At the time of arrest, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said the man was linked to scam text messages that were sent to dozens of Optus customers demanding they transfer $2,000 to a bank account he nominated, or face their personal information that was released following the data breach being used for other financial crimes.

Well, on Tuesday, that man was sentenced, managing to avoid jail time for his actions.

In a statement, the AFP announced that the man has been sentenced to an 18 month Community Correction Order, 100 hours of community service and conviction recorded by the Sydney Downing Centre District Court. Officially, the sentencing is for “attempting to blackmail Optus customers whose stolen records he found online”.

Per the AFP’s statement, the man sent text messages to at least 92 customers, but it said the AFP has no evidence that any of those customers paid him.

Details used by the offender to identify these customers came from the 10,200 stolen records posted online by hackers after the Optus data breach.

On September 22, Optus disclosed it had fallen victim to a cyber attack. At the time, little was really known about what had actually gone down, with many Optus customers concerned about what this data leak meant for their personal data.

By the end of the year, it was clear the breach had exposed almost 10 million current and former customers.

The AFP also offered up advice on how to avoid being scammed, with AFP Commander Chris Goldsmid adding a warning:

“The criminal use of stolen data is a serious offence and has the potential to cause significant harm to the community.”

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